Yesterday, myself and my family did something I never thought would happen. We helped our mother move into an assisted living home.
Can Ya’ Tell me How I Feel?
It was definitely a process getting where we are today. A long, frustrating, stressful, process, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. I always knew life was unpredictable, and I’m ok with that. I’ve never been any sort of planner, because life usually laughs at you when you want something to go an exact, and certain way, at a chosen time…so, what’s the point? I just try to figure things out as I go, and tackle life as it happens. My mother, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. She plans anything and everything she can. She’s also an avid list maker and rule follower. Booooooring!
Although I expect life to throw curveballs at peoples plans, this one took me by surprise. I don’t know if it’s just because she’s my own mother, or because of who she is…or both; but I always pictured her passing at home in her sleep, naturally.
My mom is a very intelligent woman, she was a member of Mensa, an Investor, and CPA. She started college at the age of 16, and never stopped learning. This makes it especially difficult to watch her struggle to put a sentence together, or forget how to find the restroom, or what she did moments before. To make matters worse, she recently took up arguing with anyone near by, and talking down the people who have volunteered to help her.
She got to where she could not be safe alone, or cared for by my father (they are both in their 80’s). This prompted an immediate move to my house, and me and my teenage daughter began juggling work, school and “grandma” My siblings pitched in very little while she was with me, but my daughter really stepped up to help.
I assured my mom I would help her as long as she wanted. We’ve never really got along great, but she is Mom, so I did my best. I quickly learned how difficult it was to care for her; elderly, frail, confused and ornery…24/7
Two weeks after coming to stay with me, she decided an assisted living would suit her better. I can’t deny, I was pretty relieved to hear her say that. But, yesterday, I was surprised how sad I was while helping her move. Her new “home” is beautiful and the staff seems amazing.
Even though her life is currently nothing like I pictured, it is coming together. However, this experience has made me think about the possibilities of my future, as well.
I have to say, I feel more discouraged than I did a month ago, my other feelings are mixed.